Monday, August 30, 2010

We are heading into another recession?

Just when we thought the American economy is on the path of recovery, and hence there is hope for the world economy, we have started to see signs of a second recession - what we normally call a 'double-dip' recession.

Many economists have tried to study the impact of the stimulus spending by the US government on the actual GDP growth. And from what we know, close to $800 billion has already been spent since the second quarter of 2009. Many are now predicting a slow down in the American economy as these stimulus spending has already run out, and this is evident from the predictions shown on the chart above.

The Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke last Friday expressed some hope for the year 2011, however, he also acknowledged that the economy was weaker than hoped and promised additional measures.
However, there is serious doubt as to how much intervention Bernanke is referring to, as the politicians at the Congress are less willing to spend additional money as stimulus, despite policy recommendations by some economists like Krugman and Stigilitz, on continuing the stimulus spending.

Hence, with low investor confidence and a dearth of policy interventions, there is every reason to believe that we are headed into a double-dip recession. What's more disturbing is the fact that many have started to predict that this recession could turn into a prolonged depression, similar to that experienced by Japan recently for a decade. “There are many ways in which you can see us almost surely being in a Japan-style malaise,” said the Nobel-laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz,

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Reminding ourselves about the 'Asaasee's

Total Number of gang-violence within the last three weeks: 5
Number of deaths within last three weeks: 1
Total injured within last three weeks: 8
Source: Haveeru

Last thursday, a 16 year old boy was attacked by knife. Male' streets have become unsafe, and what are the authorities doing about it? We have all hired a President, and paying him Rf100,000 every month. We have hired 77 Parliamentarians, and paying them all Rf4.8 million every month, and all these people have appointed and put in charge Judges, and we are spending more than Rf700,000 every month to all of them. On top of that, we have at our service Police, and a Defense force, and I'm not sure how we are spending in total every month on them. Yet, our streets are unsafe, young children are being killed.

...And we are being told that we have a new Qanoon Asaasee, and with the new Qanoon Asaasee, we have a better governing system; we have a separate Executive, a separate Legislature, and a Separate Judiciary. With new political and governance reforms, things are ought to get better. Maybe, we need to revisit to the basics: Qanoon Asaasee also means the 'basic or primary law'. When I say returning to the basics, I am referring to the main objectives we are trying to achieve. The only reason we want political reforms or governance reforms, or democracy, is for us to achieve some basic objectives. We need to achieve some outcomes, and in order to get there, we have all agreed on to form some basic laws, and then enact other laws and regulations. Then we have all agreed to hire some people according to these laws, and allow these people to serve us; to uphold the laws and regulations, to work for us in order to achieve those objectives that all want to achieve.

So what are those objectives? I'm guessing one of them could be, a safer society with less crimes. A society where people do not have a fear that they could be attacked by another and killed on the street. A society where, even if somebody harms another, that person is properly punished, and such acts are prevented. I'm also guessing that we want to respect the human dignity. I'm also guessing we want to achieve economic prosperity, ensure that people are properly fed, appropriate clothing, and shelter is provided. Appropriate education and health services are provided. We want to have a decent job, and earn a living. So, these are some of the basic objectives we want to achieve, and everything else is just a means to achieving these objectives. So, be that the Qanoon Asaasee, or any other law or regulation. If, the Qanoon Asaasee, the Laws, the Regulations, the President, the Parliamentarians, the Judges, the Police, and whoever I've left out, cannot work together to achieve these objectives, then I'm thinking,...we have serious problems to rethink about.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sin City

Two days back, one of the suspected drug dealer, Hussein Mohamed Manik was found innocent by the Court. According to the Police, he's one of the six main dealers in the country. Early March this year, another suspected dealer among the six, Adam Naseer was also not convicted. Here, we are talking about "MAJOR" crimes. It's well-known in this country that 'if you are arrested today- you'll be released tomorrow' - no matter the type of crime you've committed. It is also public knowledge that the prisoners, or inmates at Maafushi Jail have their own demands and these demands are very easily met, or they go on strike and even destroy the premises. Bottom line: the Police, Prosecutor General, Parliament, and the Courts are unable to work together to bring about a solution to this. They are unable to restore law and order in this country. They are unable to punish, rehabilitate, or keep wrong-doers away from the rest of the society. Why?

The Courts or the Judges might say, there is not enough evidence to convict according the existing laws. The Police might say, the Courts are not doing their job, and Parliament doesn't provide appropriate laws to do their job. The Executive has been blaming the Judiciary on this matter.

In another case, within this week, two men serving their 15 year sentence were released, saying that they get a 3 year probation, and if they do not commit any crime during this period, their sentence is pardoned. And these two guys are those involved in the Sultan Park bombing. Unlike in the first case, these two guys have been already convicted, and serving their sentence. And just like that, the government decides to pardon them, those who have committed acts of terrorism, and as a result our country suffered immeasurable damage in the international forefront.

So, Maldives has become a haven for anybody with a mind and will to commit crimes, hu? There's less chance you'll be convicted, and even if did get a sentence, the government will pardon you within 2-3 years.